Sunday, August 01, 2010

New Vintages

Some of my favorite wines have just been released in new vintages. I haven't had all of them yet, but I figured I'd share the news about the group that I've had at home with dinner:

And by the way, if these wines are representative of what's happening in general, 2009 in Beaujolais really is as awesome as they say. Buy the wines and drink them. Sure, pick a few that you are most interested in and lay a couple of bottles down, but these wines are drinking beautifully right now. Don't miss it.

2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon, $22, Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. Ripe and enticing, pure and clean, very fresh, this is bursting with red fruit and as if to suggest what we would be eating with this wine if we were already in heaven, an undertone of earthy cured meat. This wine is not perfect - I find the alcohol to be a bit awkward, although the bottle says only 13%. But I wouldn't be surprised if it is in fact higher. And in any case, it juts out a little. The this is, the wine is still delicious. I cannot imagine cellaring it, as it tastes so good now, and doesn't seem to be holding anything in reserve.

2009 Coudert Clos de la Roilette Fleurie, $20, Louis/Dressner Selections. Ripe and aromatic, very generous, plushly textured and with good body and richness, but without crossing into the land of overdone or huge. In other words, it's a solid standard deviation away from the ripeness mean, but still within the realm of normal. Will this age well? I don't see why not. There is plenty of acidity and the wine is fundamentally in balance. In this case though, I'm having a really hard time imagining why I would try to hold it. The drinking really is just that good right now.

2009 Clos de Tue-Boeuf Cheverny, $16, Louis/Dressner Selections. Pure joy. Vivid red fruit, when served cool the texture is not entirely smooth and that is a big part of the charm, the acids are strong, the aromatics are lovely, the wine is clean and absolutely well balanced, and the finish lingers longer than it has a right to considering its humble pedigree. You blend Pinot Noir and Gamay somewhere near Touraine and you can make a decent wine. Even if you are Thierry Puzelat, the wine is not always great. This time, it's great. What else can I say - pure joy.

2008 Pierre Gonon St. Joseph, $25, Imported by Fruit of the Vines. As good as this wine is, it's a bit of a disappointment. The past several vintages have been wonderful and this wine is very tasty too, but it isn't as strong as its predecessors and this is clear. It has the dark fruit, the olives, the wet soil, the finesse that I know of Gonon and his plots in St. Joseph, but it is lacking the complexity that I have come to expect and with air, the emptiness of the midpalate really shows. The price is right and this is good drinking, but don't believe that this is the best that Gonon can show you.

2009 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Clos des Briords, $16, Louis/Dressner Selections. This drinks differently than any young Briords that I've had, but that's okay because it's still absolutely delicious. This one is far more crowd friendly and approachable. The aromas are lovely and clear - lemon, a bit of yeast, spring water. The wine feels relaxed, as if it's already gone through that young tightly wound period. I've learned enough, however, about this wine to know that based on this one bottle, I have no idea what's really going on here. It certainly seems like it wants to be enjoyed early. And it tastes really good right now.

2008 Albert Boxler Edelzwicker Reserve, $16, Robert Chadderdon Selections. Sometimes the overall bigness and the residual sugar in Boxler's wines makes it hard for me to appreciate them on a practical level. Meaning, I respect what's going on, but I don't always want to open and drink them. Not so with this wine. This is the field blend of essentially every white grape grown by the estate. Yes, it is full bodied and big, unmistakably a Boxler wine, and there is residual sugar too. But the wine is very well balanced and actually feels lean and mineral on the finish. Herbs, pits, wildflowers, and bitter honey support and lend complexity to the wine, and it is so very satisfying. And flexible too - find something that doesn't eat well with this wine in the heat of summer, I dare you.

2000 López de Heredia Rioja Rosado Viña Tondonia Gran Riserva, $24, Imported by Polaner Selections. I haven't actually had an entire bottle of this yet, just glasses on several occasions. But I'm very excited about what I drank. This wine is perhaps more grounded than the 1998, a wine that I think is absolutely excellent, but a wine that took a year after release to show as well as it does now. That's the thing with these Lopez wines - they release them when they think they're ready, but maybe they should get a little more time in your cellar anyway. The 2000 has a darkly spicy, very focused character, and it is more attractive to me early on than the more tropical 1998 at this point in its life. Blood orange, salt, sherry, and so clean and pure. I hope I have the self-control to hold onto a few of these.


Weston said...

I have a 94 Rosasdo of Lopez for this Summer sometime, gonna get me some cheese and chorizo and have a go at it most likely by myself lol

Timothy Lock said...

I'm very interested in your thoughts on the 2009 Cru Beaujolais. So far, i've had only the Coquelet Chiroubles 09...i really enjoyed, but found it quite tight upon open, but very bright. It took maybe three hours for it to really open up and show the fruit-forwardness of the vintage, which had me thinking these were gonna be wines to hold for a bit...seemed in line with what i was reading from the retail store blurbs (although you never can tell since they are pushing you to buy cases of the stuff). However, your synopsis of these two (two of my usual favs) has me thinking perhaps i should grab these quick and drink 'em before they are snapped up!

Brooklynguy said...

nice - I never had the '94. you should find a friend for that bottle.

hey Timothy - i just don't have anything to say yet, only had a few bottles and there are many more to try. it's hard because some people taste full fruited vintages and think that their fullness means they should be aged. they can be, but why not drink them young for their fruit? 2009 might be one of them. i don't know yet.

Chris Newport said...

Thanks for the notes, I think your impression of the Coudert regular bottling is spot on, after trying a bottle I reloaded with as much as I could afford (I wish it was more).

Like you, I probably will drink them sonner rather than later, they're just so good now.... although I did pick up a few bottles of the Cuvee Tardive for the cellar...